FAQs on Income and Expense Declarations

Annual income and expense declarations are sent to owners of Bath's commercial, industrial, tax-exempt, and multi-unit properties. For commercial properties, one of the most important ways assessors ensure property valuations are accurate is by obtaining information about the income and expenses associated with renting and leasing real estate. The information gathered is compiled in order to determine typical income and expenses expected for various types of real estate investments. 
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General Questions

As part of the 2023 property valuation update, commercial property owners have been sent questionnaires regarding income and expenses related to their buildings. Because the City does not routinely collect this information, you may be unfamiliar with the forms and the information requested. This page will be updated with commonly asked questions as the valuation update continues. Thank you for your help in ensuring our assessments are fair and equitable to all Bath taxpayers. For more information on the valuation update in general, see the Assessor's Office's webpage.

These are the forms sent to various types of businesses, in case an additional copy is needed.

Income and Expense for Golf Course

Income and Expense for Hotels, Inns, and Bed & Breakfast

Income and Expense for Marinas

income and Expense for Nursing Homes and Assisted Living

Income and Expense for Parking Lots 

Income and Expense for Self-Storage Facility

Do I have to use the form provided, or can I submit information in a different format?

You do not have to use the form provided. It is perfectly acceptable to submit the information requested in a format easier for you to produce (a report from your financial software, for example, such as a rent roll or financial statement). Please provide as much detail as possible on the items included in broad categories such as utilities (as shown on the form provided).

Are you asking other businesses like mine for this information?

Yes! Almost all Bath commercial property owners have received or will receive this mailing, although the forms are customized depending on the type of property involved. Again, our goal is make our valuations fair to all Bath property owners, by developing as complete a picture as possible of the income generated from, and expenses required for, Bath's commercial properties. Your information will be compiled with others to generate an income approach to valuation of commercial properties that is reasonable and accurate for Bath.

Do you want information on my business income and expenses?

The information requested is solely on income and expenses relating to the property, not the income and expenses of the business (or businesses) that may occupy the property (unless the two are inseparable, as is true for hotels, nursing homes/assisted living facilities, apartment rentals, parking lots, etc.). If the property owner is the sole occupant of the property, please indicate this on the form and ignore the income-related questions. Please do provide information on expenses related to the property, such as maintenance, utilities, capital expenditures, management, etc. 

Doesn't the Assessor's office already know how much land I have and how big my building is?

Yes, generally, and if you don't have these details readily available, it is fine to skip these questions. In some circumstances (where multiple parcels are generally treated as one by the owner, or where there may be a discrepancy in the assessor's records) it is helpful to have you tell us the size of the land and the building(s) that are included in the information on the form. That way we can be sure we are analyzing the information correctly. If you'd like to look up the size of your building or the amount of land in your property, you can find information on your property in our online assessor's database.

You've asked about more than one parcel, but I account for the income and expenses as if the parcels were merged (for example, a building on one parcel and a parking lot or outbuildings on a 2nd parcel)?

It is acceptable to provide a printout of your internal income and expense accounting for multiple parcels that are treated as one economic unit. Please include as much information as possible regarding how expenses and income should  best be allocated to each parcel. If you have questions about how to apply this guidance to a particular set of circumstances, please contact the Assessor (207-443-8336 or bcummings@cityofbath.com).

How will the Assessor use this information?

Our goal is to collect information on income and expenses relating to property of different types and purposes throughout the City, in order to develop an income approach to valuation that is accurate for the various types of commercial property in Bath. Your information is being used in combination with others to come up with estimates of typical income and expense per square foot of property for properties in the various neighborhoods throughout Bath. Even if your property is owner-occupied, information on your expenses for the property you own will help us develop more accurate valuation methodologies for similar properties that are leased to others.

Is the information I provide confidential?

If you indicate on the form that the information contained on the form is confidential and proprietary to your business, it will be treated as such. Under Maine Statute (MRS Title 36 §706-A), it is up to the property owner, not the Assessor, to determine which information is proprietary, so you must tell us the information should be treated confidentially before we are able to do so. Having said that, in past revaluations, property owners did not have the ability to declare their information as confidential, but such records have never been requested or reviewed by a third party in Bath to our knowledge. 

Proprietary information is specifically defined in Title 36 §706-A as "information that is a trade secret or production, commercial or financial information the disclosure of which would impair the competitive position of the person submitting the information and would make available information not otherwise publicly available and information protected from disclosure by federal or state law, rules or regulations."

What are the consequences if I don't return the forms?

MRS Title 36 §706-A requires property owners to respond to the Assessor's "...proper inquiries as to the nature, situation and value of the taxpayer's property," and explicitly allows queries about income and expenses associated with commercial properties. Failure to respond could bar your right to appeal the valuation of your property as of April 1, 2024, as determined in the 2024 update of property valuations. If you are unable to respond to the information request or feel it isn't applicable to your circumstances, please contact our office to discuss the matter with the Assessor.

Owner-Occupied Property
This section is for questions relevant to those who own commercial real estate and occupy the premises.
I own and occupy the entire property for my own business. Do I need to fill out this form?

If your property is 100% owner-occupied, indicate on the form that the owner of the real estate and the owner of the business occupying the real estate are exactly the same; and that no lease exists and no rental payments are being made (including payment of the mortgage) by the business occupying the real estate. Please provide expense information as requested on the form. Note that real estate occupied by a business and owned by a principal of the business are not owner-occupied properties and must complete the form in full.

I occupy part of the property for my own business, but the rest is leased to others.

Please indicate the portion of the property (square footage) used by the property owner, and the portion leased to others. Provide income information for all leased areas, and property expense information for the entire property, including the portion used by the property owner.

You've asked about more than one parcel, but I account for the income and expenses as if the parcels were merged (for example, a building on one parcel and a parking lot or outbuildings on a 2nd parcel)?

When the properties are wholly owner-occupied, it is acceptable to provide the expense information requested for all of the properties together (it isn't necessary for you to allocate expenses to each specific parcel). If a breakout is available, it is certainly helpful, but it is not required. If the property, or a portion of the property(ies) are leased to others (i.e. a portion of a parking lot is leased to someone else, as well as being used by the property owner), please provide information on the income and expenses attributable to that lease, and indicate the area (sq. footage) covered by the lease(s).

Property of Nonprofit Organizations
This request for information has been sent to a number of property tax-exempt organizations in the City of Bath. These queries address those properties.
Why are you sending this to a nonprofit? We don't pay property taxes.

The assessor is responsible for valuing all property in the City of Bath, including the property of tax-exempt entities. Information regarding real-estate related income and expenses provides critical information to the assessor for the valuation of such property. Moreover, many nonprofit organizations own property that is very similar to, or serves a similar purposes to, other commercial property in Bath. Thank you for helping us ensure our assessments are fair and equitable to all Bath taxpayers!

A nonprofit entity owns this property. How do we fill out the form?

If the property is used entirely for the tax-exempt purposes of the non-profit organization (no portion of the building is leased to others on either a short-term or long-term basis), please complete page 1 and then provide information on expenses related to building (costs to maintain, heat, provide utilities to, and/or repair the property, for example). 

If the non-profit organization leases space in the building to others, either for events or as long-term tenants, please complete the applicable income portion of the form as well as including expense information.  

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